Talking Teds

by Zaia Kendall, PRI Sunshine Coast

Using a safe deterrent for bush turkeys…

A good friend of mine had a problem with a bush turkey (also called scrub turkeys, bush chooks and I am sure a number of other names not suitable for publication…). The bush turkey had decided to make a nest very close to his home, and he was not happy about that at all. After shooing the turkey away numerous times, whereupon it, of course, returned every time, he pondered the problem….

For some reason unbeknownst to him, the thought entered his mind that he should put his big teddy bear — Ted — on top of the turkey nest. He did, and lo and behold, the turkey did not return. Feeling a bit sorry for Ted, sitting out there in the weather, he pulled him off the nest after a while, and as soon as he did the turkey returned! As soon as Ted was placed back on the nest, the turkey stayed away.

After he told me this story it stayed in my mind, and when we had a problem with bush turkeys coming into our garden and destroying our vegetables and fruits, I set out to get some teddies at the second hand store. I came home with four teddies (they sell at the shop for around 50 cents each) and we proceeded to tie them up on the fences and gates around the veggie garden.
We have not had bush turkey problems since….

My friend told me that people do not believe him when he tells his bush turkey story, but I can tell you, teddies seem to scare the bush chooks and have kept our veggie garden safe so far! Do make sure they stay out of reach of puppy dogs, since they also seem to make a wonderful playmate for them….